Prince Philip's funeral: The important reason Boris Johnson will not attend

It is tradition for the Prime Minister to attend a royal funeral

Britain's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson gives an update on the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic during a virtual press conference in the new £2.6million No9 briefing room on March 29, 2021 in London, England. Outdoor sports and up to six people or two households can gather as from today in the first stage of England easing lockdown measures
Boris Johnson will not attend Prince Philip's funeral
(Image credit: WPA Pool / Pool via Getty)

Boris Johnson will not attend Prince Philip's funeral in order to give up a seat for a royal family member.

Boris Johnson will not be attending the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, as Buckingham Palace confirm only 30 people can attend in a bid to comply with covid-19 restrictions. 

Despite being on an initial list of people down to attend, a Downing Street spokesperson has confirmed the prime minister has politely declined the invitation in order to create more room for family.

"As a result of the coronavirus regulations, only 30 people can attend the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," a statement said. 

"The prime minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday."

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Prince Philip's funeral will take place on Saturday 10th April 2021 at St. George's Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

It comes just days after Boris made a heartfelt speech in tribute to HRH Prince Philip. 

Paying homage to the Duke, who he described as an "expert carriage driver" that "helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life," Boris went on to offer his condolences to the Queen and her family. 

"We remember the Duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen. Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her “strength and stay”, of more than 70 years," he said. 

"And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today. Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather.  

"Speaking on their golden wedding anniversary, Her Majesty said that our country owed her husband “a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know” and I am sure that estimate is correct.  

"So we mourn today with Her Majesty The Queen, we offer our condolences to her and to all her family and we give thanks, as a nation and a Kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing comes just two months before he was set to celebrate his 100th birthday.

But, the Queen's husband had been in poor health in recent weeks and spent a month in hospital after undergoing heart surgery.

The Queen will pause royal duties for eight days of mourning following his death. 

Our thoughts are with the family at this time.